"art of dakar (or, tourist trap)" is a poem that i keep thinking about and greatly admire by evie shockley from her book a half-red sea. the whole poem resonates and resonates for me, especially the opening lines (below). i keep coming back to this poem, days and weeks after first reading it this summer.
the poem has an epigraph from the nation, from a 2003 article about how trees in senegal "some more than a century old, had been cut down everywhere the [u.s.] president was scheduled to pass."
the poem begins with these lines:
"poems are bullshit unless they are trees a century old, sentries lining the streets of senegal. in dakar, the darker brother keeps his peace, while a bush burns in effigy. a poem should show, not tell, so hold up your arms as if they were trees: if you have enough digits to make a fist, you are now a double amputee..."
from a half-red sea, carolina wren press